Manfrotto Tag

The Muraro " Heavy Compact Small Stand " looked like a pretty simple box to bring home. It was sealed and I expected to find a Manfrotto look-alike inside - Boy, was I surprised. To give you a comparison I have included my Manfrotto compact stand in some of the images today. Not trying to play one wholesaler off against another, but there are some interesting design features here. This is the two stands folded up. The Manfrotto is the smaller one, but it isn't all that much smaller. It's a great accessory for taking to dance shows - I put a Hahnel Captur receiver and a Fujifilm EF-X500 flash on it and set it out some way from myself. It sometimes gets a more central position in front of the audience than I do but is unobtrusive enough to sit out there all night. I do sandbag it as the legs are short. But look what happens when you fold out the Muraro in comparison. About 6 inches more height and a great deal wider base for the legs. That's as wide...

If there was ever a product category that calls forth innovative design, it's the table-top tripod. It would be crass to name competitor's products in a post about a Manfrotto design, but if you go back over the years in this column you'll see at least five other charming little things - one of which has a design history stretching back over 50 years. And a price tag that looks like a government contract...

Not the nanny state - that's a different ketle of fish. We're talking about minor equipmant and accessories that we can use for major photography.Light stands, like porridge,  come in three sizes; too big, too small, and Goldilocks. Errr...

How many of us get a tool kit with our new digital cameras these days? In the old film days it was common for the box containing the SLR or rangefinder camera to have a complete tool pouch including a stilson wrench, set of spanners, lens brace, film jack, and a bottle of optical antiseptic. In the case of some Kodak cameras you got a 8-round clip of .30-06 ball ammunition and a toothbrush.I think we are being done - nowadays you're lucky to get a battery charger and a squidgy little lens cloth with some. Even the instruction manuals are on a CD...

Those of you who followed the news from Photokina in 2016 - sent back in part by the management team of Camera Electronic and in part by the press departments of major manufacturers - will have been attracted to the new cameras and lenses shown. Lots of you will have zeroed in on new offerings and are starting to make vague plans to get something fresh...

There's a dramatic statement that will bring a cheer to the lips of the wholesalers - praise indeed for this Manfrotto Befree tripod. They are going to have to be careful when they say the name - it is the MVKBFR-LVE - but it is well worth the attention of the video shooter.Most of the tripods that have been reviewed in this column are intended for still camera use - from big studio jobs to tiny travel models. They may feature three-way or ball heads but they rarely pan and tilt in a way that would help a video maker. This Manfrotto product is different.Oh, it has many of the standard Manfrotto features - it folds back upon the centre column to save carrying space and it has four-tube extension legs with lever locks. The leg angles are dictated by swivel levers at the top that allow several angles of splay. There is a hook on the centre column to allow you to put a weight on it to further steady the assembly. So far, so normal.The part that departs is...

If you have ever gone to a photographic trade show, collector's market, or enthusiast's conference you know roughly what the exhibition hall will look like.There'll be a number of stands set out by major manufacturers, a couple of tables from a local authority or professional body loosely allied to the theme of the day, and one or two little card tables set up with sad-looking people behind them. They'll generally be in the least favourable position in the layout - near the toilets or down behind the service corridor. Do yourself a favour - seek them out.We're not saying that the major players don't have good stands - after all, they've got the money and prestige and corporate power to get the best place in the show. And they'll be the ones with the big new products that everyone has been seeing hints of for the last two months on the internet forums. Go to them and heft the new cameras and lenses and have a good time. Enjoy their latest slogans...